Tomas has finally left, after four weeks here (plus the week at the conference), so today I’ve spent most of the day cleaning, relaxing, and reading.We’ve had very different interpretations of the words “a thin layer”. The diatomaceous earth was supposed to be spread out over areas where you’ve seen or would suspect bed bugs (or other insects) in a “thin layer”. I did that around all the walls, having moved all the furniture out 30-50 cm from the walls, as well as around my bed, and under the bed frame. I had about 15 bites around each ankle, and thought that would be enough. Tomas, after a few days, found something that he interpreted as a single bite on one of his feet. I think it looked more like a zit, but in any case: it doesn’t hurt to be careful, I guess.


There are limits to how careful you need to be. Tomas interpreted “a thin layer” as being about 1 cm thick, spread all around his inflatable mattress, around his bags and largely over any open floor space in the bed room. This has made it very hard to walk anywhere in the room over the last week, as the only part of the floor that hasn’t been covered by diatomaceous earth was the area around my bed and the area where his bags and mattress was. This means, of course, that in order to water my plants, I had to get diatomaceous earth all over my feet…


In addition, I discovered today, he had placed an equally thick layer of diatomaceous earth under his mattress. This may or may not be sensible, but the mattress has two sides: one made of rubber, and a softer one made of some sort of slightly furry material. Of course the slightly furry material was turned towards the diatomaceous earth, meaning that I had to rinse it off with the garden hose set to “jet”.


But now most of the diatomaceous earth has been swept up and thrown away, apart form the stuff around the walls and under my bed, which will stay for another week and a half. I’ve washed the floor as well, because as I’ve been walking in Tomas’ piles of diatomaceous earth, there were white foot prints everywhere. It’s soft and nice, like walking on talcum powder, so it’s not that bad, but the floor tiles in my apartment are quite dark, so all the foot prints showed up very nicely.


Still, at least we know that the powder works! We observed a spider walking across one of Tomas’ piles the other night, and it seemed to be unhurt until it came to the naked wood. Immediately, it looked as if its feet had just collapsed, and couldn’t support its weight any longer. It was stumbling around, and the feet seemed to be stuck to the floor. I don’t really know how the diatomaceous earth does this, but the poor spider probably didn’t survive long, especially not as it immediately crawled in under Tomas’ mattress, which much have been an insect death trap…


4 responses »

  1. As far as I know, diatomaceous earth dehydrates stuff, such as insects, which kills them. It is also a key ingredient in dynamite, so it’s obviously not to be trifled with 😉

  2. So what else should I spread all over my floor to make it explode? Sulphur? Plaster of Paris? Oil of Cloves? Niotrinaline (one of the ingredients in whatever it was that transformed the Turtles)?

  3. well, the other ingredient in dynamite is nitroglycerin. Sprinkling that from a height would probably be a bit dangerous. dripping it carefully onto the d-earth would make the nitroglycerin LESS dangerous, which is the entire purpose of all that dynamite business.

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